FAYETTEVILLE — It wasn't easy for Arkansas, but they got a win.
Key free throws down the stretch from Chris Lykes and some crunch-time play from Jaylin Williams let the Razorbacks escape a red-hot Northern Iowa team Wednesday night, 93-80.
The Hogs could never pull away until the end when Chris Lykes kept getting on the free-throw line and making shots to open up a double-digit lead.
It helped when the Panthers couldn't get desperation shots to fall in the final 1:30 of the game.
allHOGS will have an updated story with complete press conference coverage and photos.
It's almost tip-off time and it probably won't be a huge crowd for No. 15-16 Arkansas against Northern Iowa as it's a midweek game and the temperature is dropping rapidly in Northwest Arkansas.
With an NCAA soccer match also going on next door plus Sam Pittman's football coaches' show tonight, the crowd may grow throughout the game.
Stick around at allHOGS.com for updates throughout the game.
Hogs start Jaylin Williams, Davonte Davis, Au'Diese Toney, Connor Vanover and JD Notae.
UNDER 16 TIMEOUT: Northern Iowa 12, Arkansas 7
JD Notae scored the first points of the night, then the Hogs proceeded for the next 5:57 to show they aren't guarding the Panthers' 3-point shooters very well.
Northern Iowa is 4-of-8 behind the arc, so it's pretty clear what their strategy is going to be and Eric Musselman has complained in the exhibitions and early games about the Hogs needing to improve their 3-point defense.
UNDER 12 TIMEOUT: Arkansas 16, Northern Iowa 15
The Hogs come out of the earlier timeout and need less than two minutes to go up 14-12 on shots by Davonte Davis, then Stanley Umude and a layup by Jaylin Williams gave them the lead.
The Panthers answered with a 3-pointer (what else?) before Chris Lykes answered with a short jumper at 11:58.
UNDER 8 TIMEOUT: Northern Iowa 26, Arkansas 23
The Hogs either can't — or won't — guard the Panthers behind the arc as they continue to hit outside and an early break let Musselman stop the momentum ... at least briefly.
UNDER 4 TIMEOUT: Arkansas 36, Northern Iowa 34
Lykes, coming off the bench, scored seven quick points to give the Hogs a brief lead, then Northern Iowa came storming back, primarily still hot from the outside. A give-and-go layup by Nate Heise gave the Panthers a 30-26 lead.
After pushing the lead to 32-26, Davis hits a 3-pointer to pull the Hogs closer and Notae spurs a scoring outburst, joining Lykes in the backcourt.
Notae hit a layup, then a Vanover dunk before a long 3-pointer by Notae gave the Hogs the lead back at the timeout.
HALFTIME: Arkansas 40, Northern Iowa 38
A layup by Davis and a jumper by Notae around a 3-pointer by Heise gives the Hogs a slim lead at halftime.
Lykes leads Arkansas with 12 points, Notae has 11. Notae leads the Hogs' rebounders with 6 and Williams has 5.
UNDER 16 TIMEOUT: Arkansas 47, Northern Iowa 46
Stanley Umude lights up the Hogs' offense in the second half, hitting a 3-pointer and another field goal to open a 4-point lead before the Panthers start hitting 3-points again, cutting it to a slim lead at the first media timeout.
UNDER 12 TIMEOUT: Arkansas 60, Northern Iowa 57
The Panthers won't go away. The Hogs built a five-point lead on a turn-around three by Lykes after a fast-break layup with Williams had opened an earlier seven-point lead.
Every time Arkansas builds a slim lead, Northern Iowa comes back to make it close.
UNDER 8 TIMEOUT: Arkansas 66, Northern Iowa 66
Panthers' Trae Berhow ties the game just before the break on a 3-pointer as Hogs can't seem to guard that particular area. It is a problem that's going to be addressed.
For now, though, Toney is the most active player on the floor for the Hogs getting 8 points. Lykes still leading Hogs with 17 points.
UNDER 4 TIMEOUT: Arkansas 75, Northern Iowa 75
With 3:50 to play in the game Northern Iowa is shooting a ridiculous 51.6% from behind the arc and the Hogs can't manage to pull away for long.
Get ready for a barn-burner in the final minutes.
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